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Victim of Shooting Still Critical

By Olin Ericksen
Staff Writer

November 15 -- A 25-year-old Los Angeles man locally seeking help to kick substance abuse continues to fight for his life at a local hospital after being shot in the Pico Neighbor Sunday afternoon, a likely victim of gang violence.

“Right now he is still in critical condition,” said Captain Alex Padilla, spokesperson for the Police Department.

“They are still concerned about his abdomen,” where he sustained one of the two gunshot wounds, Padilla said.

The Latino male – a patient at the Santa Monica-based rehabilitation clinic, the CLARE Foundation – was the victim of a drive-by shooting at around 2 p.m. at 11th Street and Michigan Avenue in the Pico Neighborhood.

A brown vehicle was seen leaving the scene, several witnesses told Police.

“We don’t know if it was gang-related at this point,” Padilla told The Lookout Tuesday. “But it’s leaning in that direction for sure.”

Police have said they are also unsure of whether the man was the intended target or a random victim or if he had any involvement or affiliation with gangs.

While CLARE officials said they could offer little comment about the incident because of confidentiality, they did offer words of support and said there are signs the man is recovering.

“He’s doing much better, and we’re happy to hear he’s doing much better,” said Lacey Von Deak, communications coordinator for CLARE, which has operated locally for 36 years.

“On Sunday, things looked pretty bleak, but the conditions are improving,” she said.

The shooting comes a few weeks after a woman received a gunshot wound to the leg in the 2700 block of Pico Boulevard, but police said the area – after a rash of shootings over the summer – appears relatively calm.

“They have been the only two incidents for a while, and they appear unrelated,” said Padilla. “We’re not getting a rash of gang incidents.”

If the victim of the latest shooting is not involved in gangs, it could be the second time this year that an innocent bystander was the victim of gang-related violence. The fatal shooting of Eddie Lopez, a16-year-old Samohi student, in March is still under investigation.

Police said they hope to canvass the area again to round up more information from witnesses who have not yet come forward.

Anyone with information should call the Santa Monica Police-Robbery/Homicide Unit at 310.458.8451 or the Watch Commander at 310.458.8427.

Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call the WE-TIP hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME. Callers that lead to an arrest and conviction become eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.





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